May 21

Sayles Werbner Representing Electrocuted Oil Rig Worker's Daughters in Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

SAN ANTONIO – Attorneys from Dallas’ Sayles Werbner have filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the children of an oil rig worker who was electrocuted in a West Texas oil field only days after his second child was born.

Sayles Werbner attorneys Mark Torian and Darren Nicholson represent the daughters of Ke-Andre Ross, a former standout player for the Lindale High School football team who was killed at the age of 20 after working five days at his new job.

The lawsuit against San Antonio’s Forge Energy LLC and Odessa, Texas-based Thornton Drilling Co. was filed on behalf of Mr. Ross’ two minor daughters on May 19, 2013, in Bexar County’s 285th District Court.

“Ke-Andre was a hard worker trying to provide for his beautiful daughters, but his life was cut terribly short because of the defendants’ callous disregard for safety,” says Mr. Torian, a veteran of lawsuits involving the oil and gas industry. “The current Texas oil boom is creating record profits for many companies, but workers’ families are paying the price when these same companies fail to make sure workplaces are safe. Under any standard, this incident was 100 percent preventable.”

Mr. Ross was hired as an oil rig worker in June 2012 by Thornton Drilling, which was operating a rig in Andrews County under a contract with Forge Energy. Mr. Ross was called to work while he and his fiancé were awaiting the birth of their second child, who was born during Mr. Ross’ 440-mile drive from Lindale to Andrews County. The young parents traded calls, text messages and photos over the following days, with their final texts reading, “I love you” and “love you too.”

Less than 10 hours after sending the text messages, Mr. Ross was operating a power washer outside the rig’s generator house. Unknown to Mr. Ross, an electrified wire had become frayed within a metal box that was meant to protect the rig’s wiring. While using the power washer, Mr. Ross touched the electrified box and died at the scene.

The lawsuit, Powell, et al. v. Thornton Drilling Co. and Forge Energy LLC, No.2013-CI-08468, includes claims of negligence, gross negligence, and wrongful death. Sayles Werbner has requested a jury trial on behalf of Mr. Ross’ children.

Sayles Werbner maintains an international reputation as a proven trial law firm in complex business litigation, intellectual property matters, life-altering personal injury cases, product safety claims and practically every type of case that requires courtroom expertise. 

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